Senator Sandlin has introduced SB 130 which is special legislation modifying the statute which governs the process by which a city may change its name. The current rule is that 500 registered voters can file a petition to change a city’s name which is then to be considered by the city council. The city council can then adopt an ordinance changing the city’s name. Under Sen. Sandlin’s proposed legislation, cities named in the Indiana Constitution or in the Indiana Code would not have this option.
I know Indianapolis is in the State Constitution. I don’t know if any other cities are mentioned. I suspect a fair number of cities are mentioned here and there in the Indiana Code. For example, Bloomington and West Lafayette are specifically mentioned in the higher education sections. But, given that Sen. Sandlin serves Marion and Johnson County, my guess — and this is just speculation on my part, I haven’t done any research or heard anything in particular — is that this is directed at Indianapolis. Perhaps a pre-emptive strike against locals running with the notion that having a name that includes “Indian” is a bad idea? This bill would stand for the notion that it’s best to take power away from locals and put it in the hands of the General Assembly.